Todd Phillips: From Brooklyn to Hollywood via Ithaca – How A Legend Was Made

Todd Phillips

The Legend of the Week

Originally born Todd Bunzl in Dix Hills in Huntington Long Island on 20 December 1970, Todd Phillips is by far and away one of the most prolific and talented comedic writers, directors and producers in Hollywood today.

Todd Phillips during the filming of The Hangover Part II

Todd Phillips during the filming of The Hangover Part II

Barely in his teens Todd was watching comedy classics such as Animal House (1978) and Stripes (1981), which spurred him to make his first feature-length project Hated 23 in 1993.

The film took a controversial look at the insanity of the life of punk rocker G.G. Allin, but forced Phillips to drop out of NYU in New York City for lack of funds to finish both the degree and the documentary.

At 23 Todd Phillips directed his first documentary called Hated

At 23 Todd Phillips directed his first documentary called Hated

Phillips followed this up with Frat House which he directed aged 28, and became infamous as a documentary around frat houses and hazing. Winning the Grand Jury Prize for Documentaries at Sundance in 1998, the film then became engulfed in allegations that it was partly or wholly staged. Either way, the project was fantastic.

Despite winning at Sundance, Todd Phillips' Frat House Cause Huge Controversy

Despite winning at Sundance, Todd Phillips' Frat House Cause Huge Controversy

After meeting Ivan Reitman (father of Jason Reitman) who is probably best known as having produced Ghostbusters, Phillips helmed his first narrative comedy Road Trip which starred Tom Green.

Road Trip was produced by Ivan Reitman who produced Ghostbusters....!

Road Trip was produced by Ivan Reitman who produced Ghostbusters....!

Although not a breakout success, this enabled Todd to revisit the world of frat houses when he directed Old School 3 years later and turned Will Ferrell from a Saturday Night Live regular into a full-blown film star.

Todd Phillips as the "Gang Bang Guy" in Old School

Todd Phillips as the "Gang Bang Guy" in Old School

Phillips had a hiccup with School for Scoundrels, a remake of the original British version which ended up being a complete critical and financial disaster. He then participated in the writing of Borat for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination and officially redeemed himself when he directed The Hangover in 2009. Budgeted at $35 million, the film ended up grossing over $480 million worldwide, and fully established Phillips as one the most bankable comedy directors in Hollywood.

Todd Phillips as "The Elevator Guy" in The Hangover - his biggest movie to date!

Todd Phillips as "The Elevator Guy" in The Hangover - his biggest movie to date!

He followed this up in 2010 with Due Date starring Robert Downey Jr, and then The Hangover II which grossed even more cash than the original.

Todd Phillips and Bradley Cooper during the filming of The Hangover II

Todd Phillips and Bradley Cooper during the filming of The Hangover II

The next film produced by Todd is Project X, a Warner Bros. movie about the biggest party ever hosted. Only one word can accurately describe the trail: AWESOME.

Project X is Todd Phillips' next movie...it's going to be epic!

Project X is Todd Phillips' next movie...it's going to be epic!

Hugs and Kisses

Derek x

derek@ineligibleforgreatness.com

twitter.com/ineligiblederek